MECC Launches Bridges to Bethlehem Christmas Documentary Series
The Middle East Council of Churches is proud to announce the Bridges to Bethlehem Christmas documentary series. This series of 12 short documentaries showcases the rich diversity of tradition surrounding the celebration of the coming of the Christ child across the Middle East. Filmed in five countries (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt and Iraq), the series represents the liturgical customs of churches from all four ecclesiastical families of the Council — the Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant families.
Each documentary was filmed during Advent and Christmas services in December 2017 and January 2018, and then edited in real-time to be released during the same season of Christmas. The churches represented in the series are:
- Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch (released December 29, 2017)
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (released December 30, 2017)
- Syriac Orthodox Church (released January 1, 2018)
- Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East (to be released)
- Syrian Catholic Church (to be released)
- Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East (to be released)
- National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (to be released)
- Armenian Apostolic Church – Catholicosate of Cilicia (to be released)
- Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem (to be released)
- Coptic Orthodox Church (to be released)
- Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (to be released)
The purpose of the Bridges to Bethlehem documentary series is threefold. First, the series is meant to inspire Christians of the Middle East and to create a sense of solidarity among the Christian community in the Middle East during the holy season of Hope and despite the existential challenges faced by Christians in the region. Second, Bridges to Bethlehem hopes to increase awareness regionally and internationally of the rich and diverse array of Churches and Christian traditions in the Middle East. And, third, the series seeks to expand the narrative that outsiders hold of Christians in the Middle East through positive images and stories about what it means to witness as a Christian in the land where Christ was born and lived.